An uplifting tale evoking the golden sands of Africa by Carnegie Medalist Mal Peet and his wife, Elspeth Graham, captivatingly illustrated by P.J. Lynch.
Already an old man, desert guide Issa has seen thousands of dawns. One particular morning, however, the desert reveals something new; something that changes his life. Tucked away in a narrow cave, shielded from a treacherous dust storm by a faithful camel, a baby girl lies wrapped in fine cotton and wearing half of a star medallion around her neck. Issa names the girl Mariama. As years pass, Issa loses his sight, and Mariama becomes his eyes. So Issa doesn’t see the pattern on the robes of a mysterious young traveler who comes through their village, or the medallion he wears. Who is this young stranger, and what does his arrival mean for the life Issa and Mariama share in the desert?
The story … resonates and would be a beautiful read-aloud. A sumptuous, memorable tale of family ties. —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Muted, earth-toned watercolors supplement the text, creating a magnificent story. This heart-warming book is based on a true story and will prove a welcome addition to upper elementary and middle school libraries. —Library Media Connection